A SEASON FOR CELEBRATION AND RENEWAL
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE TO VIEUX FORT SOUTH CONSTITUENCY
BY PRIME MINISTER, DR. KENNY D. ANTHONY, PARLIAMENTARY REPRESENTATIVE
As I begin the usual reflections which accompany the close of the year, I am
drawn to reflect on the several Wednesdays that I could not be with you these
past four months. Many, I know, missed my presence. It has been a busy period.
Throughout September, I was abroad with my wife who had to undergo surgery. Then
from September, my traveling schedule took me away not only on the business of
our country, but also, on the business of CARICOM. Come December 31, 2005, my
tenure as Chairman of CARICOM end. So the chairmanship of CARICOM goes to Prime
Minister Patrick Manning of Trinidad and Tobago. After such a hectic traveling
schedule, I feel a quiet relief, as I welcome the spirit of Christmas in our
My fellow constituents of Vieux Fort South, as we once again prepare to
celebrate the feast of Christmas we are reminded of Godís great love for us.
More importantly, the feast of Christmas is a very special occasion and a time
for us not only to reflect on Jesusí love for us but also to respond to his love
by demonstrating love for our fellow men and women. May the expressions of
goodwill and the gifts that we exchange be the outward manifestation of that
AN EXTRAORDINARY TIME
Christmas is and has always been an extraordinary time for sharing and giving.
It is also a time for peace, love and goodwill among human kind. It is the
season for celebration and for renewal. It is a time for us to forget the
things that have divided us during the course of the year and to celebrate the
things that binds us together as a community and people. May this holiday season
come to represent an oasis of warmth. Let it be a time for hope and renewed
promise, of joyful expectation for young and old alike, a time for the giving
and receiving of gifts, especially the greatest gifts of love and friendship.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR REFLECTIONS
Just as the first Christmas heralded a new beginning, like every other Christmas
since then, may this Christmas offer a new opportunity for thoughtful
reflections of the year just ended, and strengthen our resolve for the year
ahead. This year, as we gather with family, friends and loved ones to enjoy the
season, we must look back on the year 2005, the promises it held and the
promises yet unfulfilled.
It is also important for us to reflect on our good fortune and be thankful that
our lives have been spared and our community of Vieux Fort South saved the
ravages of any major disasters and human calamity. As we prepare to face the
challenges of a new year we must pray that the almighty God will continue to
keep a watchful eye over our community and protect us from harm and misfortune.
As we reflect on our collective good fortune as a community, it is also
important that we reflect on the true and eternal spirit of the season. It is
only by doing this can we will strive to make the holidays a time of celebration
for all, especially those less fortunate than ourselves.
TIME OF LONELINESS TOO
Although Christmas should bring joy to everyone, the sad reality is that
Christmas can bring pain and sadness to some among us. There are always those
in our community of Vieux Fort South who will face a lonely Christmas - the
recently bereaved; the housebound and in particular those who live alone; the
homeless; those who have become isolated from their family and friends because
of an addiction to alcohol, drugs or imprisonment and those who have been
hospitalized because of illness.
I urge you this festive season not only to spare a thought for those least
fortunate, those most in need but to share with them in some tangible and
meaningful way the warmth of the Christmas season. Show them the generosity, the
kindness of heart, the mercy, the care and love that is consistent with the
message of the Christ Child. Invite the hungry to break bread with you. Visit
the sick whether at home or in the hospitals Ė bring them a measure of comfort,
hope but more importantly console them. Do not forget the aged and the elderly,
help them reminisce about Christmases past but also help them find joy in the
Christmas that we celebrate.
But let us remember what it is that we are celebrating. Let us do what we can to
help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. We must never forget the
example of the Christ child. Let his deeds and actions remind us all that
providing service to others is a central component of our lives and mission on
earth. Equally, sacrifice and unconditional love for one another must be the
guiding force that inspires us to lead lives of compassion, mercy and justice.
The true spirit of Christmas dictates that there is reward in giving, in helping
those in need, in giving hope to the despair and to spreading peace, goodwill,
joy and happiness to all that we come into contact with.
How I wish that the outpouring of generosity, goodwill, love and fellowship that
is in abundance during the festive season become a permanent fixture in our
lives not only during the Christmas season but also throughout the year. In the
words of Charles Dickens, "May we keep Christmas every day of the year."
A TIME FOR COMMUNITY
Christmas is also a time for community. Hence, this Christmas season presents a
unique opportunity for the residents of Vieux Fort South to come together in
peace and harmony, to rekindle bonds of community, to build and rebuild the kind
of respect for each other that can only help us to grow stronger. Let us all
work together to rediscover the communal spirit, the unity and strength of
purpose to overcome the many challenges that confront us every day and the
community spirit so vital to enhancing Vieux Fort South for the benefit of all
As another year draws to a close, I want to once again thank the people of Vieux
Fort South for the opportunity and the privilege that they have afforded me to
serve as their representative in the Parliament of Saint Lucia. I know that I
have brought satisfaction to many but displeasure or disappointment to others. I
do wish it could have been otherwise. My one pledge to you is that I will
continue to provide loyal, committed and dedicated service to you the people of
Vieux Fort South. I will continue as I have done over the past eight years to
protect, defend and promote your interests.
ACHIEVEMENTS AND FRUSTRATIONS
Throughout 2005, as a community we faced and overcame many challenges. We had
many notable achievements and also periods of incredible frustrations. Through
it all we have remained steadfast in our determination to work together to
improve lives and the standard of living for many of the residents of Vieux Fort
South. As we look forward to the New Year, I remain hopeful and confident that
our commitment to building and developing the community remains undiminished. We
must continue to work to extend economic opportunities and prosperity to all
residents of Vieux-Fort South. I will continue to work assiduously to attract
foreign investments to the South of the island and in particular Vieux Fort
South. Next year, I will work to channel our citizens to the new economic
opportunities created by the investments in nearby communities, for example,
Sapphire Estate. True, crime has been reduced this past year, but we must aim to
reduce it even further in the New Year. We must recommit ourselves to the ideals
of peaceful co-existence, tolerance and respect for life and property. And we
must continue to work to alleviate poverty and to lend assistance to the aged
and other vulnerable sectors within the Communities of Vieux Fort South.
In closing, I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank all those
whose support and prayers I have enjoyed throughout the year. Your prayers and
support have been for me a source of great comfort and encouragement. I wish to
extend to each and every one of you a Christmas filled with happiness, good
cheer, Godís grace, togetherness, peace and above all love for one another. I
also wish you and yours a prosperous and happy New Year.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.